10 best garden strimmers to buy in 2021

20 April 2021

woman using garden strimmer

If you want to keep the edges of your garden neat and tidy, read on for our reviews on the UK's best garden strimmers as recommended by families.

We all know a lawnmower is essential for cutting grass, but if you want neat edges around your lawn and to reach the places that are too tricky with a bulky machine, then you also need another gardening tool – a strimmer.

Used to trim the edges of your lawn, patio and borders without damaging your flowers, garden strimmers are very versatile. Some designs can also trim back long grass, weeds and even small trees, which is very handy if you’ve let your garden get a bit too wild.

A hand-held device, they use blades or a plastic line to cut through grass and can be powered by electricity, battery or petrol.

Some are lightweight and suitable for regular garden maintenance, while others are heavy-duty, powerful models that can tackle even the most overgrown of lawns. It’s up to you how much you spend as there are different prices to suit all budgets.

Whether you need to trim the edges of your patio or cut through some overgrown weeds, here are the 10 best strimmers to keep your garden looking neat and tidy.

1. Best overall garden strimmer: Bosch ART 35

1. Best overall garden strimmer: Bosch ART 35

The Bosch ART 35 is a powerful tool that will cut through even the wildest of gardens. With a 600W motor and a 35cm cutting width, it should have no problems tackling large areas of overgrown grass and weeds.

It’s a corded machine though so you do need to be able to reach a socket, but the bonus of electric strimmers is you don’t need to worry about recharging a battery or filling it with petrol before each use.

When it comes to lighter gardening work like edging, heavy-duty machines can be harder to control and, weighing 4.6kg, it’s heavier than most cordless models. But the ART 35 comes with a secondary handle and shoulder strap to make it easier to carry – all for a decent price too.

Key specs

  • Type: Corded/electric
  • Power: 600W
  • Cutting width: 35cm
  • Weight: 4.6kg

2. Best budget garden strimmer: Flymo Contour 500E

2. Best budget garden strimmer: Flymo Contour 500E

Although some garden strimmers can cost more than £400, this one from Flymo is a lightweight and affordable model with some nice features to help your garden look it’s best.

Another corded strimmer, it’s not as powerful as some of the other products on our list, but is decent enough for a regular garden spruce up and you can both trim and edge with it. However, the 25cm cutting width means it may take longer to do larger areas.

The shrubbing facility is handy too. This allows you to adjust the angle of the head for those harder to reach places, such as under bushes or garden furniture.

It also comes with a telescopic handle which can be adjusted to suit your height – and, more importantly, it won’t make too much of a dent in your bank balance.

Key specs

  • Type: Corded/electric
  • Power: 500W
  • Cutting width: 25cm
  • Weight: 3.1kg

3. Best all-round garden strimmer: Black+Decker GLC3630L20

“I’ve recently bought a fabulous strimmer – the Black+Decker 36V Lithium-Ion Strimmer with 2.0 AH Battery. It's light, really simple to use, has adjustable power and, at its highest, can really motor through heavy weeds and long grass. Plus automatic line feed, The battery is fab – lasts 30 to 40 minutes depending on power which, as I explained to DH, is very much my limit of strimming continuously anyway!”

3. Best all-round garden strimmer: Black+Decker GLC3630L20

There’s a lot to like about this garden strimmer from Black+Decker – it has all the usual convenience of a cordless model while also being fast and powerful for tackling large gardens and trimming borders.

It comes with a 36V battery and Black+Decker's E-drive technology allows you to adjust the power to turbo mode to cut through overgrown areas and tougher weeds or eco for lighter gardening work.

The battery will run out quicker when in turbo mode but, otherwise, it should last for up to around one hour and only takes up to two hours to recharge.

With a decent 30cm cutting width, an automatic line feed and a fast-cutting speed of 8,500 RPM, this is a great all-round tool for strimming, edging and tougher garden work.

Key specs

  • Type: Cordless/battery
  • Power: 36V
  • Cutting width: 30cm
  • Weight: 3.5kg

4. Best garden strimmer for long grass: EGO ST1510E

4. Best garden strimmer for long grass: EGO ST1510E

If you’ve let your garden get a bit too wild or you have a large overgrown plot to cut back, the EGO ST1510E is powerful and effective for tougher garden work.

While cordless garden strimmers can be less powerful than petrol or corded, this one comes with a 56V battery and a 38cm cutting area to help trim back large gardens and longer, thicker grass.

It’s fairly light, weighing 3.2kg, but has a shoulder strap to make it easier to carry. The battery running time is great too – from 30 minutes up to 90 minutes depending on which one you use.

The ST1510E uses a line for cutting and has a rapid reload so there’s no having to re-feed the line yourself when it gets too short. But it does come with a hefty price tag.

Key specs

  • Type: Cordless/battery
  • Power: 56V
  • Cutting width: 38cm
  • Weight: 3.2kg

5. Best cordless garden strimmer: Ryobi OLT1832

5. Best cordless garden strimmer: Ryobi OLT1832

With no cord to worry about, the Ryobi OLT1832 is super portable, and easy to use for trimming and edging your garden.

It hasn’t got the power of a petrol strimmer so it may not be as good for longer grass or tougher weeds, but it is versatile – with the option of a 25 or 30cm cutting width and pivoting head that can be changed to three different positions.

Do check what you get with it though as you may need to buy the charger and battery separately, although they can be used on any Ryobi tool.

Weighing 2.7kg, you don’t have to worry about your arms getting too tired and the handle can be adjusted for different heights. It also comes with an auto feed mechanism if the line breaks – an all-round user friendly cordless strimmer.

Key specs

  • Type: Cordless/battery
  • Power: 18V
  • Cutting width: 25-30cm
  • Weight: 2.7kg (with battery)

6. Best electric garden strimmer: Black+Decker GL7033

6. Best electric garden strimmer: Black+Decker GL7033

While a corded electric strimmer may be less portable than a cordless, it does have its benefits – you’re not restricted to short running times, as with battery models, and machines like this one from Black+Decker pack plenty of power for tackling tougher garden work.

It’s got a decent cutting width – 33cm – too so it’s suitable for larger spaces, with a heavy-duty line for cutting through thick weeds and long grass, and a wheel guide to help you achieve a neat finish to your edging.

The BLACK+DECKER GL7033 isn’t too heavy either and the curved shaft gives the strimmer good balance, with a second handle so you can grip with both hands – peace of mind when handling any powerful machine.

Key specs

  • Type: Corded/electric
  • Power: 700W
  • Cutting width: 33cm
  • Weight: 3.2kg

7. Best petrol garden strimmer: ParkerBrand Petrol Strimmer

7. Best petrol garden strimmer: ParkerBrand Petrol Strimmer

ParkerBrand may not be as well known as some of the other names in our list, but this 52cc petrol strimmer is affordable and functional – and will appeal to both beginners and keen gardeners.

The two stroke engine is powerful and fast, with a twin line attachment for trimming and edging your garden, and a three-blade brushcutter head, designed for tough grass and heavy weeds.

Powerful models like this can be harder to control when doing lighter work such as edging and this one is heavy, weighing 10.7kg, but the ParkerBrand 52cc has a bike handle and shoulder harness to make it more comfortable to hold. The shaft can also be broken down for easy storage.

While you do have to combine petrol and oil, a mixing bottle is provided for this and they even include a free toolkit. Like any petrol strimmer, it will be noisy, but it’s at least half the price of other similar models making it really good value for money.

Key specs

  • Type: Petrol
  • Power: 52cc
  • Cutting width: Not specified
  • Weight: 10.7kg

8. Best lightweight garden strimmer: Gtech GT 4.0

8. Best lightweight garden strimmer: Gtech GT 4.0

The Gtech GT 4.0 is an arm-friendly cordless strimmer that’s really easy to use. It weighs just 1.85kg (barely more than a large bottle of detergent), so there’s no lugging around a heavy machine and you can get greater control while trimming.

As it uses a plastic blade instead of a line for cutting, you don’t have to worry about detangling or replacing cords and, if the blade does break, you simply click a new one on.

The head rotates to help you get a neat, even finish to your lawn and edges, and there’s also a safety switch to prevent it being turned on accidentally – especially handy if you have any inquisitive child nearby.

The GT 4.0 comes with a 18v battery which lasts for about 30 minutes but does take four hours to recharge.

Key specs

  • Type: Cordless/battery
  • Power: 18V
  • Cutting width: 23cm
  • Weight: 1.85kg

9. Best garden strimmer for edges: WORX WG163 GT 3.0

9. Best garden strimmer for edges: WORX WG163 GT 3.0

If neat lawn edges are your thing, this WORX cordless strimmer is lightweight and comes with a host of features to help even the most novice of gardeners obtain professional-looking borders.

It’s easy to switch from trimming mode to edging and comes with two wheels to ensure you keep a straight line. The head also pivots 90 degrees for tackling different terrain and places that are harder to reach, such as under low hedges or garden furniture.

The WG163 GT 3.0 has a 20V battery which can be used in any WORX tool, and the adjustable handle, along with the wheels, will make it comfortable on your arms.

Key specs

  • Type: Cordless/battery
  • Power: 20V
  • Cutting width: 30cm
  • Weight: 2.4kg

10. Best garden strimmer with brushcutter: Bosch AFS 23-37

10. Best garden strimmer with brushcutter: Bosch AFS 23-37

With a brushcutter attachment for cutting back large, stubborn weeds, this model from Bosch is for gardeners that need to do more than just trim grass.

A heavy-duty strimmer, the AFS 23-37 can be easily switched from a strong 37cm line to a 23cm blade to help you cut back rough grass, and the likes of nettles and brambles.

A corded electric strimmer, it has a whopping 950W motor and comes with an adjustable handle and strap for better control and comfort – very handy when using a machine with this much power.

Key specs

  • Type: Corded/electric
  • Power: 950W
  • Cutting width: 23cm blade/37cm line
  • Weight: 5.7kg

What is the difference between a grass trimmer and a strimmer?

None – a strimmer is just another word used by manufacturers for a grass trimmer. You may find it confusing when searching for a product as companies can use different terms, such as line trimmers and garden trimmers, but they are all the same thing.

However, a brushcutter is different and is used for tougher work like cutting back weeds and shrubs. Some strimmers come with a brushcutter attachment.

Can a strimmer cut long grass?

Lawnmowers can struggle to cut through long grass so a strimmer will help you trim off the top layer to make it more manageable for a lawnmower.

A lighter model that isn’t too powerful will be easier to control and, for larger areas, one with a good cutting width will help you clear it quicker – and save you from getting too tired!

What should I look for when buying a strimmer?

There’s a range of features to look out for. Here are some of the most important things to consider when deciding which garden strimmer is right for you;

Power

  • Petrol: Petrol strimmers offer maximum power and are designed for large areas of overgrown grass and weeds, but they do make a lot of noise and are large and heavy. They can also be expensive. Brushcutters (a high-powered tool for tackling tougher weeds and shrubs) tend to be petrol and some strimmers come with an attachment.
  • Battery: Cordless models are portable and lighter than others. They tend to be more expensive than electric strimmers and batteries may only last for up to an hour (voltage ranges from 12V to 66V). So for bigger tasks you’ll need a second battery or stop to recharge, which can take up to four hours. Check if you need to buy a battery and charger separately.
  • Electric: Although these are generally the cheapest garden strimmer, you do need to make sure you have access to mains and the cord is long enough to cover the whole area. Wattage ranges from 250W to 600W with the highest being the most powerful.

Cutting width

The bigger the cutting width, the more grass you will cut which may be important if you have a large area to trim. Sizes start from 20cm up to 42cm for professional machines, however 25-30cm should be enough for general maintenance.

Line feed

Strimmers with a line-and-spool mechanism use a plastic line – or two – to cut grass. A thicker line is better for tougher grass and plants – choose from 1.3mm to 2.6 inches diameter.

The line wears down over time and breaks if you hit something too hard, so you either have to feed more line through yourself or you can buy a strimmer with an automatic line or bump feed, which releases line when you tap it on the ground.

Blades

Other models use plastic blades which are effective but not designed for tough jobs, though they are easier to replace than line blades.

Weight

Some strimmers can weigh more than 6kg, so think about how long you could be gardening for and whether you'll be able to carry it around for long periods of time. An adjustable handle will aid comfort and some models come with a harness or shoulder strap to make it easier to carry.

Price

You can pick up a decent, lightweight strimmer for less than £30. But if you have a large garden or tougher areas to tackle, you may want to go for a more powerful model which can cost up to £400.

The head

Look out for heads that rotate or can be adjusted to make it easier to get a good edge. Some designs also come with attachments, such as a brushcutter, for tackling tougher grass or weeds.

How long should you use a strimmer for?

Trimming a garden can be a tiring task, especially if you have a machine that weighs more than 6kg. For best results and to prevent fatigue, try to only work with a garden strimmer for up to 40 minutes at a time and take regular breaks.

It’s worth bearing in mind though that the battery on cordless products may only last for 30 minutes, so you’ll need a second battery or to stop to recharge anyway.

Which garden strimmer is best?

We think the Bosch ART 35 is the best garden strimmer to buy. It’s a powerful, easy to use garden strimmer for trimming, edging and cutting through tough grass and weeds.

This electric model is suitable for large overgrown gardens, comes with a secondary handle and shoulder strap, and doesn’t cost the earth.

How we chose our recommendations

Most of our recommendations for garden strimmers came from Mumsnet users themselves. We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which garden strimmers Mumsnetters really rated. We also researched various review sites to find out which garden strimmers performed well across the board.

Why you should trust us

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Main image credit: EGO Power Plus